The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said it will provide a total of $3.9 million in refunds to consumers who purchased the Quell device by Neuromatrix Inc., of Waltham, Mass., a device promoted for analgesic effect throughout the body when worn below the knee. The agency said the average refund will be roughly $55 and will be made to nearly 68,000 purchasers.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services posted a request for information from CLIA-certified and other labs as to whether those labs could provide additional testing capacity for the COVID-19 pandemic should the federal government provide additional testing equipment made by Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., of Waltham, Mass. The list of possible provisions includes reagents, and respondents must demonstrate the capacity (personnel, infrastructure and ancillary support) needed to utilize the equipment and supplies. HHS requires that interested parties respond by Sept. 20.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force posted a draft recommendation for screening for hearing loss in adults, stating that the evidence is insufficient to assess the benefits of screening in asymptomatic adults. The draft finding echoes a similar review of the evidence in 2012, and is essentially the same determination as made by the American Academy of Family Physicians and the U.K. National Screening Committee. The task force is taking comment through Oct. 5, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit declared that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board decision in Snyder v. St. Jude Medical is invalid because the presence of the PTAB judges who heard the inter partes review violated the Appointments Clause. Counsel for Snyders Heart Valve LLC also argued that its position is unique in that Andre Iancu, director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, had served as counsel for St. Jude Medical in a parallel patent lawsuit prior to taking the directorship of the PTO, and that any such conflicts should be imputed to all employees of the agency. The Federal Circuit dismissed this argument as lacking merit, but declined to address the PTAB determination that the Snyder patent is ineligible due to obviousness. Melissa Patterson of the U.S. Department of Justice served as the intervenor in support of St. Jude.